As I write this, the US President has just continued his parade of stunning choices by ranting and rambling to a collection of the youth of the US (of which I am an Eagle Scout emeritus member) and announced that despite over a year of working on the policies and getting things ready to do so… Transgender individuals are no longer welcome in the US Military. I fully expect a rollback of allowing females in combat roles to come later this year.
Given that I’m scheduling this for a week and a half from now (I’ll be hiding from reality camping in PA)… gods help us but what may happen between now and then??
And this is… 6 months into this administration.
The loyal are still frothing at the mouth, the pundits are still talking and justifying. In addition this social sociopathy we have a horrifying dismantling of the environmental regulations we’ve been laboring slowly (so pitifully slowly) to enact for my entire life, and a specific and targeted attack on the social agreement under which my country operates by a horrifying undermining of facts, reporting and faith in news.
And all of this, is a case of the wrong narrative on a personal, local, and national sense.
America (god, don’t you love how we co-opted a continent as our short hand country name?) has crafted itself around a Eurocentric narrative of personal struggle. The subconscious image of the frontiersMAN landing with an axe and a spool of rope in a Schrodingerian land both undiscovered and full of hostile natives.
It’s a story of personal triumph. Of individual strength and success. Everything about our country is based on the notion of standing alone, independence and individualism. Of the White Man triumphing over mother nature (female imagery much?) and the Other. (you know… those people who aren’t as “fully people” as white people are)
We fought communism not because of the horrible human rights violations that occurred in the communist countries, but because it warred with our ideology. It flew in the face of the notion that the success of the individual is the ultimate triumph. Who cares what the company does, as long as the company succeeds. The company is the man who runs it, the individual is key.
Get YOUR job. Buy YOUR house. Have YOUR kids, and leave them YOUR money so it’s THEIRS.
It’s a narrative of property, isolationism, selfishness.
We are the polar opposite of the worst most horrific excesses of oppressive communism and socialism. We are the expression of the tyranny of the individual instead of the tyranny of the masses.
In considering how we move forward, how we approach the 21st century: we must modify the narrative. We must do it not as a government approach to a communal focus, which leaves oligarchs in a position to siphon all the riches of the country to the coffers of the powerful (remarkable how the same thing happened here eh?). We must do this as a shared social focus.
A government of the people, by the people, for the people. A community working together, shaping their future and doing it NOT from a sense of “what does this gain me” but “what does this gain us all?”
It must be nurtured in the hearts of every person, and reflected in the values of our society. It cannot be enforced artificially by a government, but it CAN be valued openly and celebrated as the theme of our stories.
I pray we can do this.. and I pray it’s in time.